“God, can I get a little help here?”

A movie that is popular in our “house” right now is the new Disney movie, Moana. It seems to be on repeat and I honestly don’t mind one bit because it is THAT good. If you haven’t seen it I’m going to be referencing the movie so you may want to stop what you are doing and go watch it! Then, come right back here and read the rest of this blog because God spoke some good stuff to me through this movie. Go ahead, I’ll wait….

Welcome back! Wasn’t that good? There is one scene in the movie that moved me because I related to what was going on with Moana at the time. It was the scene where Moana is struggling on her boat trying to find Maui. She was trying to follow the stars shaped liked a hook, knowing it would lead her to her destination.  She was so exhausted from her journey she feel asleep and her boat drifted into the other direction.  The sea woke her up and when she tried desperately to realign her boat it capsized and she fell into the water. Exhausted and fearful, she cried out to the ocean, “can I get a little help here?” Immediately, a storm comes and she is tossed around in the ocean. Waves come crashing over her, one right after the other, until she lands on a deserted island covered in sand. Helpless, she looks over at her boat submerged into the sand and cries out again. She was confused as to why the ocean brought her there and in her frustration she tries to kick the ocean, unsuccessfully of course.

As most of you know we are currently in a storm of our own and I’m sure you are inyour very  own storm as well.  The severity of the storm doesn’t matter. It’s still a storm and it can still cause pain and damage no matter the size. Recently, there have been times when I have cried out to God just as Moana did, “where are you?” “Can I have some help please?”  When I thought I was only hearing the crickets, He spoke to me through a movie.

 (Side note) Never underestimate the way God speaks to you. It comes in all different shapes and sizes. Just be open and listen. 

(Now back to your regular program) 

When God has you on a journey sometimes it takes a storm to get you to your destination. Moana thought the sea had abandoned her, but in reality it took her to exactly where she was called. What we have to understand is that when God is moving in your life the ground beneath you will shake from His greatness and the atmosphere around you will tremble because the enemy is doing everything he can to try and stop it. I think many of us think that if we are doing Gods work it should be easy, but if your on Gods path it’s not going to be a cake walk people. Gods people are wearing His shoes and with every step you take you are sending shockwaves down to the depths of Hell, waking up the enemy and getting him fired up. But know this, the enemy will fail and God’s glory will always prevail. Always. 

If you are in the deep thick of it and waves are crashing over you, hold on tight to your boat my friend. Know He is there, He is with you and you will get through this. Keep pushing through, sending those shockwaves deep down beneath you, letting the enemy know who is in charge here! God! You are clothed in his mighty armor so stand firm and grounded! 

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Eph. 6:11-1

“Through You we will push back our adversaries, through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us.” 

“This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chron. 20:15

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The Ohm Flood

I turned over in the big empty bed glancing over at the clock right before pulling the covers over my face. An image flashed before my mind as I read it was 12:30 am. I was back in my house with flood water covering my feet. My focus went from my submerged feet to the tub as water rushed over the edge like The Niagra Falls. The feeling of helplessness suddenly came over me, unaware of how to stop this distruction. Do I yell? Do I grab towels? What can I do to stop this water? I have lost control. “God…..what do I do?” Half asleep, I cried out to Adam and he came running over. He immediately went down stairs to shut off the main and I paced through the water holding up my pajama pants. I began to grab every towel and blanket in sight to soak up the water. When I ran downstairs for more I saw what looked to be the rain Forrest in our basement. Water poured from the ceiling, soaking everything in view. Torn by which direction to go and distracted by what was in front of me I began grabbing buckets and every empty bin in the house to collect the water. I grabbed more blankets and headed upstairs to try and soak up more water. But it was like trying to soak up Lake Michigan with a small kitchen sponge. Then God gave me an image of a dusty old pump I once saw in the basement. We went searching and sure enough it was there, ready to be used. I could hear it shouting “put me in coach, I’ll take it from here!” We were able to use that trusty old pump to get the remaining amount water out of the house and start the drying process. Thankfully during this time no baby woke up and we were able to focus solely on the cleanup. Exhausted we headed to bed with no idea what was about to happen in the morning. 

When the insurance company came to check out the damage they determined that all the floors were ruined, both upstairs and downstairs and the bathroom would be gutted. They informed us that the removal process would start immediately and we would need to stay in a hotel for awhile until everything is fixed. We quickly packed all of us up, grabbed toys, bottles, formula, baby gear and anything we thought we may need for the next few weeks. Once everyone was packed and loaded I sat in the car unable to move, talk or process anything. I was frozen and exhausted. 

As I process this event I can’t help but think about the story in the Bible of Jesus calming the storm. Let’s read it.

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:35-41)

I can picture the disciples doing exactly as I did that night. Some grabbing whatever they could to get the water out of the boat while others frozen in fear doing nothing.  All being overtaken by this storm and slowly sinking into the sea to perish. 

As Christians we are not exempt from being attack by our enemy. The creator of fear is out to try and kill you from the inside out. He wants you to become so overcome by anxiety that you end up drowning, alone. As Christ followers we have another way. We are not alone. There is a hand reaching out, waiting for you to take hold of it. Does it mean the path to the other side of the lake will be easy? No. If Jesus is on your boat you better believe the enemy is in pursuit with the canyons lit. 

What God does promise us time and time again is that He will never leave us. He is with us and loves us so much. He is Peace. He calms the storm. He does and will make good of what the enemy destroys. We have to be willing to let him. When life gives you lemons, I say, LET GOD MAKE YOUR LEMONADE. His recipe is far sweeter than anything I could create. That’s because his sugar comes from the purest cane fields in Heaven.

So, today as I reflect on this past week and think about the weeks to come as our family of six take on this hotel living, I know God has this. I know we will have sweet sweet lemonade coming our way. I know he hasn’t left us for a moment and I know we will look back and marvel at what He has done. Is this hard? Yes. Am I tired? So very much so. But as we search for peace and calmness in our lives we first must realize that it starts from with in our souls. Our lives may continue to be chaotic but we have the choice to choose fear or peace. Enemy or Jesus. I choose Jesus. So with our eyes on the horizon we will hypothetically sit back and relax and enjoy the journey. Knowing that God has us right where He wants us. 

Some may call us crazy

We received a call late Tuesday night informing us that our daughters birth mom was expecting again and she wanted us to adopt. My mouth dropped as I listened on the phone for all the details. She told me she is due early February and doesn’t know the gender yet. My heart leaped out of my chest and my nerves began to go into overdrive. We have a 7 year old, 2 year old and 5 month old so the thought of bringing a newborn into our family activated my anxiety. 

After hanging up the phone I called my husband, who was out running errands for our upcoming thanksgiving road trip. I laughed when he answered and said, “you will never guess who just called me!” After telling him the details he laughed too and asked when they needed an answer. We had 24 hrs. I didn’t sleep much that night. 

The entire trip down to Nashville was filled with us going back and forth, asking each other ALL of the questions.  Both of us willing to answer this call if it was God calling us. Was He calling? 

Fear set in and we decided to tell the agency we couldn’t do it at this time. We went to bed that night, silent, both praying. Secretly asking for a divine intervention. 

We woke up the next morning both feeling like we made a mistake. We didn’t know HOW we would do this but we knew we HAD to do this. It is too important to us, too important for our family, too important for our Amelia. 

So we said YES, a shaking yes but an obedient yes. Yes to Gods plan and ours. Yes to His Glory. Yes to this child. Yes to love on our precious Birth Mom. Yes to our daughter. Yes to crazy. Yes to the unknown and yes to help. 

We can’t do this alone. We have to walk this out with God every step of the way and we need you, Our friends and family. We need your prayers that God will pave the way clearly and one that only brings Him glory in this. We also need financial help. Would you be willing to walk along side of us in this? If you aren’t in a spot to donate we completely understand that and would love your prayers. We know God will provide the way. 

Much love and a million thank you’s

Click HERE to Support us. 

How to have Joy through the Wait 

Her tiny fingers hit each piano key with such intensity and passion, unable to gracefully move from one key to the other with out lifting her hand. Blue painters tape destiguished each key from the other to aid in the learning process.  Her eyes followed the notes intently on the page trying to hit the right note. When the wrong note was pressed her fingers would flex and a large sigh would exhale from her lips. A larger more experienced hand curled around the keys upscale from those tiny fingers. Setting the example of how to hit each note with the correct finger. The tiny fingers stretched to reach each note and out of frustration she would stop trying to play correctly and start playing the easy way, with one finger. The teacher urged her to keep practicing the proper finger technique until she perfected that section, but the child only wanted to learn the other sections and quickly move forward.  The larger more experienced hands stopped and placed their hand over the students to stop them from continuing. The teacher looked into the child’s eyes and explained, “playing with one finger may seem easy now, but we must learn proper techniques so that you will be able to play correctly and effectively when the pieces get harder. If you move forward without learning what you need to now, you will eventually have to go back and relearn, causing this to take much longer than expected. It is better to take your time now and perfect the section you are in.”

“God loves the process.” I have heard this phase so many times in the last few years from family and friends. I would immediately want to roll my eyes but would stop myself because deep down I knew the truth. God not only loves the process but he also loves when we are filled with joy through the process. 

That is so much easier said then done but if we try remember the story from above it will help us understand the meaning of the wait. Most of us have something we are waiting for or a promise that we are holding onto. We want to reach that promise or destination as fast as we can. What we need to try and remember is there is a purpose for your wait. God is trying to teach us some valuable lessons that will help us down the road. He doesn’t want us to get to our destination unprepared and ultimately fail because we did not have the right tools to succeed. 

Moses led the Jews out of Egypt toward this promise land. God led them through a 40 year time of testing. If God took them to the promise land before they were ready they would not have had the tools or the faith to achieve Gods plan once they arrived. (Joshua 1-24)

We ultimately want the easy road, the quick fix and a fast microwave meal. God wants us to savor the moment, slow down and learn as much as He has for us so we may achieve the final and greater goal. The moment you are in may be hard and full of mourning, financial troubles or you may be in constant survival mode. It’s hard and I’m with you on all accounts. I want to get out of this moment as soon as possible, but I also want to learn everything He has for me as well. I want to be able to use this and have it not be wasted. When we know there is truth being taught through our waiting we can choose to have joy trump our anxiety. Let us stop, breathe, inhale His truth and exhale His love that he has for us and others. 

Hold on my friend. His promises are true, He always keeps them and He is with you every step of the way. 

  

Missing our Target

The young boy grabs his jacket off the hook and runs after his dad into the crisp morning air.  The sun is just peaking over the pine trees casting glimmers of light onto the dew in the grass. His rain boots squeak as they follow a much larger & aged pair of work boots. The sound of the rustling leaves in the trees above his head tells him winter is right around the corner. And on this day this boy’s father is going to teach him to hunt for their food. The boy watches his fathers every move as he pulls out the bow and arrow from his bag. He sees the target and quickly runs to set it up a few steps in front of them. When the boy returns the father gives him a lesson on handling the bow and arrow, pulling the string back close to your mouth and holding your breath for steadiness, aiming at the target, waiting for the right moment and then releasing the string from your fingertips. The father steps back and watches the boy take over the weapon. He stays quiet as he attempts to follow the instructions. The boy struggles a bit with positioning but fires anyway and the arrow lands 2 feet in front of the boy. Frustrated but determined the boy picks up another arrow and fires again with the same results. Each arrow coming a little closer to the target but not meeting it. Eventually, the boy caves and ask for help from his father. He nods and the boy releases his grip and allows his father to come behind him and guide him in each move.  The fathers hands wrap around his sons and he bends down to his level. As they set the bow to aim at the target they both pull back on the string and with an exhale they both release the arrow together. The arrow not only reaches the targets distance but it exceeds it, going over target into the woods far off in front them. The son turns to his father questioning him, upset that he didn’t hit his target once again. The fathers lips curl up on one side as the boy complains, as if his actions were somewhat cute and humerus. With a small chuckle the father sent his son into the woods to look for the over shot arrow. Head lowered and tear filled eyes the boy set out for the woods, watching the ground as his rain boots dodged sticks, leaves and uneven grounds. About to give up the boys head lifts as he sees the overshot arrow. His mouth dropped in shock, the back part of his hand wipes away a falling tear and he sighs as his hands fall to his side and his knees hit the ground. He looks up into the heights of the pines and his little lips curl with the same exact smile. “Thank you” leaves his mouth and he turns back to see his father standing right behind him. “Did you see what happen father?” and the father responds to his boy as he knelt down next to him and laid his hand on his shoulder, ” I know. I saw the deer in the distance as we were practicing. When you let go of control and allowed me to help you, I helped position the weapon to hit prize, not the target.”

The boy and his father knelt down together, arms around each other, in amazement of what just happened. His father looked down at the boy and quietly said, “I’m proud of you son. You’ve done a great job today.”

………
Just like the son in this story we set our eyes on the targets we set up for ourselves.  We go about life thinking we have control and making decisions on our own. When we miss those targets we get upset and question God. He wants us to see that sometimes missing the target gets us the prize, His plan and will for our life. His plan is better than our plans, we just have to let go and have faith that where God leads us is somewhere far greater than we can imagine or plan for ourselves.

Allow God to come in and guide you today. Allow him to lead your steps and bring glory to his kingdom. Whatever that may be, know that missing the target we set for ourselves may be failure to this world but it isn’t failure from Gods viewpoint. It is setting us up for Gods ultimate plan, a far greater plan than any man of this world could create.   Our only task is to believe that God knows what He is doing and stop trying to figure out his plan and purpose for our life. We need to only trust that He will align us with a much bigger target than our own.
23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

(Col 3:23-24)

13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

(Phil 3:13-14)

Stone by Stone

Hands tightly grabbed each of her arms
carrying her down the long dirt path
A sin exposed for all to see
regret, sorrow, pain, and presumable death

They threw her down against the wall
her face landing in the dirt
Her hands gripping the tiny stones beneath her
tears falling onto her soiled scarlet skirt

Stone by stone the men reached down by their dirty covered feet
searching for just the right one

Stone by stone their eyes filled with judgement
no remorse was shown, no love was given

Then the crowd grew silent
everyone turned to look
A shining light arose forth
with each step the ground beneath her shook

This man glanced toward the woman who settled on the ground
In a second He admired her soul
He knew every thought with out one word spoken
He knew she was worth saving THAT was his only goal

He bent down low and with one finger he wrote in the dirt
The men watched intently, captivated by what this man would say
He said, cast the first stone if anyone of them was with out sin
He did not look up at them but began to hear them walk away

Stone by stone judgement fell hitting the the dirt
starting with the oldest leaving first

Stone by stone the women grew stronger
faith became restored.

He never walked away
He never picked up a stone
He immediately extended grace
He only showed love

She pulled her self up and dusted off
She wiped the tears and glanced only at him
She straightened her hair and pulled the cloth over her head
then took her first step toward freedom

Stone by stone this man picked her up off the ground
where the others left her

Stone by stone the sin was forgiven
and she never looked back

We are called to love not hate
We are called to extend grace and be redeemed
We are called to seek wisdom and spread the truth
We are called to disciple not save

Stone by stone we can know there is one savior and one final judge
and leave destiny up to him

Stone by stone we can allow hate to fall to the ground
and let love conquer from within

Let us drop our stones to ground and be wise enough to be the first to
choose love over hate.

(John 8:1-11)

Just Love

As I sit her in the airport awaiting my final flight home,that has been delayed three times now and counting, I can’t help but reflect on this past week.  How do I even put what I experienced into words?  So many emotions, so encouraged and I am changed beyond understanding.  There are things about this week that won’t even make sense for years to come, while other things are becoming so clear as I sit her watching countless people walk by.  Everyone is different, no one person is the same.  So many different races, nationalities and beliefs.  Everyone is heading to a different destination, but everyone is going somewhere. Some look happy, some tired, others stressed or weary.  One thing we all have in common is Love.  We all desire to be loved and are loved by our Creator.  One immediate change we can make in the world today is to Love.  This may look differently for some or harder for others, but I want to encourage all of us to take a leap of faith today and reach out and love someone.  Love the hurting, love the unloveable, love those that are different from you, love those with different beliefs, just love.  God wants us to just love on others and let Him do the rest!  I wont say anymore, these pictures will reach down into our soul and grab a hold of your heart strings.  Go.Be.Love.

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